GUESTS, Tyler Jacobson

The Art Of Losing: Teaching Your Kid To Be A Great Loser


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The Art of Losing!

Teaching your Kid the Art of Losing seems like a dumb thing to do. Who wants to be a loser? But you’ll thank me in the end!

There are numerous lessons we parents need to teach our children before they fly the nest. One of the most important ones is how to be good losers.

Winning is easy since victory tastes nice and you get a huge ego boost to boot. But losing – well, that doesn’t go down too well. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth and it’s hard to stomach. If you have a strong-willed child, losing isn’t something they’ll take gracefully. There will be tantrums, fits of rage and angry words.

Teaching them to be a loser!

However, while we need to nurture our kids’ competitive spirits, it’s equally important to teach them how to accept losing with grace and dignity. After all, competition is a fact of life. Today they might lose a soccer or baseball match and tomorrow they might suffer the rejection of a job denied or unrequited love. As such, it is important to know how to handle themselves in these situations.

Here are some tips that might help you next time your child doesn’t come up with a win:

Tips on losing:

  • Take a look in the mirror. You can’t teach your kid to be a good sport about losing if you’re not one yourself. How do you react if your child gets a minor role in the school play or comes last in a relay race? What about your reaction when your favorite football team fails to score that all-important touchdown? Remember your kids are always watching and their reaction to losing will be a reflection of how you behave in such situations.
  • Address the importance of losing. Talking to your child about why he can’t win or be good at everything helps him accept it as part of life. If they see that even great people were once losers before making it in life, he’ll be encouraged not to take losses personally and to keep trying.
  • Focus on effort, skill and fun. Teach your child to only focus on winning and they’ll be disappointed many times in life. Instead, direct their focus to improving a certain skill set in the activities they participate in and discovering where their passions lie. Above all, stress the importance of getting out there, giving it their all and having as much fun as possible.
  • Don’t give them sympathy wins. I get it – it’s hard to watch your kids lose and fail. Even so, letting them win out of sympathy will only do them more harm than good. It will give them a false sense of achievement and false confidence in their abilities. There are incredible lessons to be learned through failure and these will help your child be the best they can be.
  • Encourage them to be thankful. Lastly, build up thankfulness in your kid by reminding them that all good gifts are lavished on us by God. He deserves all praise and gratitude for giving us the talents and abilities that enable us to compete. With humility and gratitude in their hearts, your children will find it easier to be gracious winners or losers.

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